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1.  Bis-Aryl Urea Derivatives as Potent and Selective LIM Kinase (Limk) Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2015;58(4):1846-1861.
The discovery/optimization of bis-aryl ureas as Limk inhibitors to obtain high potency and selectivity, and appropriate pharmacokinetic properties through systematic SAR studies is reported. Docking studies supported the observed SAR. Optimized Limk inhibitors had high biochemical potency (IC50 < 25 nM), excellent selectivity against ROCK and JNK kinases (> 400-fold), potent inhibition of cofilin phosphorylation in A7r5,PC-3, and CEM-SS T cells (IC50 < 1 μM), and good in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetic properties. In the profiling against a panel of 61 kinases, compound 18b at 1 μM inhibited only Limk1 and STK16 with ≥ 80% inhibition. Compounds 18b and 18f were highly efficient in inhibiting cell-invasion/migration in PC-3 cells. In addition, compound 18w was demonstrated to be effective on reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) on rat eyes. Taken together, these data demonstrated that we had developed a novel class of bis-aryl urea derived potent and selective Limk inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4349585  PMID: 25621531
LIM kinase; Limk inhibitor; urea; cancer; glaucoma; cell invasion; infection
2.  Quantitative Profiling of Protein S-Glutathionylation Reveals Redox-Dependent Regulation of Macrophage Function during Nanoparticle-Induced Oxidative Stress 
ACS nano  2015;10(1):524-538.
Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are increasingly utilized for commercial and medical applications; thus, understanding their potential adverse effects is an important societal issue. Herein, we investigated protein S-glutathionylation (SSG) as an underlying regulatory mechanism by which ENPs may alter macrophage innate immune functions, using a quantitative redox proteomics approach for site-specific measurement of SSG modifications. Three high-volume production ENPs (SiO2, Fe3O4, and CoO) were selected as representatives which induce low, moderate, and high propensity, respectively, to stimulate cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and disrupt macrophage function. The SSG modifications identified highlighted a broad set of redox sensitive proteins and specific Cys residues which correlated well with the overall level of cellular redox stress and impairment of macrophage phagocytic function (CoO > Fe3O4 ≫ SiO2). Moreover, our data revealed pathway-specific differences in susceptibility to SSG between ENPs which induce moderate versus high levels of ROS. Pathways regulating protein translation and protein stability indicative of ER stress responses and proteins involved in phagocytosis were among the most sensitive to SSG in response to ENPs that induce subcytoxic levels of redox stress. At higher levels of redox stress, the pattern of SSG modifications displayed reduced specificity and a broader set pathways involving classical stress responses and mitochondrial energetics (e.g., glycolysis) associated with apoptotic mechanisms. An important role for SSG in regulation of macrophage innate immune function was also confirmed by RNA silencing of glutaredoxin, a major enzyme which reverses SSG modifications. Our results provide unique insights into the protein signatures and pathways that serve as ROS sensors and may facilitate cellular adaption to ENPs, versus intracellular targets of ENP-induced oxidative stress that are linked to irreversible cell outcomes.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4762218  PMID: 26700264
S-glutathionylation; nanotoxicology; macrophage; oxidative stress; redox proteomics; resin-assisted enrichment; immune functions
3.  Monoclonal antibodies specific to human Δ42PD1: A novel immunoregulator potentially involved in HIV-1 and tumor pathogenesis 
mAbs  2015;7(3):620-629.
We recently reported the identification of Δ42PD1, a novel alternatively spliced isoform of human PD1 that induces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and enhances HIV-specific CD8+ T cell immunity in mice when engineered in a fusion DNA vaccine. The detailed functional study of Δ42PD1, however, has been hampered due to the lack of a specific monoclonal antibody (mAb). In this study, we generated 2 high-affinity mAbs, clones CH34 (IgG2b) and CH101 (IgG1), from Δ42PD1-immunized mice. They recognize distinct domains of Δ42PD1 as determined by a yeast surface-displaying assay and ELISA. Moreover, they recognize native Δ42PD1 specifically, but not PD1, on cell surfaces by both flow cytometry and immunohistochemical assays. Δ42PD1 appeared to be expressed constitutively on healthy human CD14+ monocytes, but its level of expression was down-regulated significantly during chronic HIV-1 infection. Since the level of Δ42PD1 expression on CD14+ monocytes was negatively correlated with the CD4 count of untreated patients in a cross-sectional study, Δ42PD1 may play a role in HIV-1 pathogenesis. Lastly, when examining Δ42PD1 expression in human esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma tissues, we found high-level expression of Δ42PD1 on a subset of tumor-infiltrating T cells. Our study, therefore, resulted in 2 Δ42PD1-specific mAbs that can be used to further investigate Δ42PD1, a novel immune regulatory protein implicated in HIV-1 and tumor pathogenesis as well as other immune diseases.
PMCID: PMC4622074  PMID: 25692916
PD1; Δ42PD1; monoclonal antibody; HIV-1; tumor; ESCC
4.  Increasing Avermectin Production in Streptomyces avermitilis by Manipulating the Expression of a Novel TetR-Family Regulator and Its Target Gene Product 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2015;81(15):5157-5173.
Avermectins produced by Streptomyces avermitilis are commercially important anthelmintic agents. The detailed regulatory mechanisms of avermectin biosynthesis remain unclear. Here, we identified SAV3619, a TetR-family transcriptional regulator designated AveT, to be an activator for both avermectin production and morphological differentiation in S. avermitilis. AveT was shown to indirectly stimulate avermectin production by affecting transcription of the cluster-situated activator gene aveR. AveT directly repressed transcription of its own gene (aveT), adjacent gene pepD2 (sav_3620), sav_7490 (designated aveM), and sav_7491 by binding to an 18-bp perfect palindromic sequence (CGAAACGKTKYCGTTTCG, where K is T or G and Y is T or C and where the underlining indicates inverted repeats) within their promoter regions. aveM (which encodes a putative transmembrane efflux protein belonging to the major facilitator superfamily [MFS]), the important target gene of AveT, had a striking negative effect on avermectin production and morphological differentiation. Overexpression of aveT and deletion of aveM in wild-type and industrial strains of S. avermitilis led to clear increases in the levels of avermectin production. In vitro gel-shift assays suggested that C-5–O-B1, the late pathway precursor of avermectin B1, acts as an AveT ligand. Taken together, our findings indicate positive-feedback regulation of aveT expression and avermectin production by a late pathway intermediate and provide the basis for an efficient strategy to increase avermectin production in S. avermitilis by manipulation of AveT and its target gene product, AveM.
PMCID: PMC4495205  PMID: 26002902
5.  Silicon Enhances Water Stress Tolerance by Improving Root Hydraulic Conductance in Solanum lycopersicum L. 
Silicon (Si) can improve drought tolerance in plants, but the mechanism is still not fully understood. Previous research has been concentrating on Si’s role in leaf water maintenance in Si accumulators, while little information is available on its role in water uptake and in less Si-accumulating plants. Here, we investigated the effects of Si on root water uptake and its role in decreasing oxidative damage in relation to root hydraulic conductance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Zhongza No.9’) under water stress. Tomato seedlings were subjected to water stress induced by 10% (w/v) polyethylene glycol-6000 in the absence or presence of 2.5 mM added silicate. The results showed that Si addition ameliorated the inhibition in tomato growth and photosynthesis, and improved water status under water stress. The root hydraulic conductance of tomato plants was decreased under water stress, and it was significantly increased by added Si. There was no significant contribution of osmotic adjustment in Si-enhanced root water uptake under water stress. The transcriptions of plasma membrane aquaporin genes were not obviously changed by Si under water stress. Water stress increased the production of reactive oxygen species and induced oxidative damage, while added Si reversed these. In addition, Si addition increased the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase and the levels of ascorbic acid and glutathione in the roots under stress. It is concluded that Si enhances the water stress tolerance via enhancing root hydraulic conductance and water uptake in tomato plants. Si-mediated decrease in membrane oxidative damage may have contributed to the enhanced root hydraulic conductance.
PMCID: PMC4761792  PMID: 26941762
tomato (Solanum lycopersicum); water stress; silicon (Si); root hydraulic conductance; oxidative damage
6.  Ganglioside-magnetosome complex formation enhances uptake of gangliosides by cells 
Bacterial magnetosomes, because of their nano-scale size, have a large surface-to-volume ratio and are able to carry large quantities of bioactive substances such as enzymes, antibodies, and genes. Gangliosides, a family of sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids, function as distinctive cell surface markers and as specific determinants in cellular recognition and cell-to-cell communication. Exogenously added gangliosides are often used to study biological functions, transport mechanisms, and metabolism of their endogenous counterparts. Absorption of gangliosides into cells is typically limited by their tendency to aggregate into micelles in aqueous media. We describe here a simple strategy to remove proteins from the magnetosome membrane by sodium dodecyl sulfate treatment, and efficiently immobilize a ganglioside (GM1 or GM3) on the magnetosome by mild ultrasonic treatment. The maximum of 11.7±1.2 µg GM1 and 11.6±1.5 μg GM3 was loaded onto 1 mg magnetosome, respectively. Complexes of ganglioside-magnetosomes stored at 4°C for certain days presented the consistent stability. The use of GM1-magnetosome complex resulted in the greatest enhancement of ganglioside incorporation by cells. GM3-magnetosome complex significantly inhibited EGF-induced phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Both of these effects were further enhanced by the presence of a magnetic field.
PMCID: PMC4644171  PMID: 26609230
bacterial magnetosome; nanoparticle; cellular uptake; ganglioside; inhibition
7.  The Expression of Tristetraprolin and Its Relationship with Urinary Proteins in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0141471.
Tristetraprolin (TTP), also known as zinc finger protein 36, is an RNA binding protein that has a significant role in regulating the expression of mRNAs containing AU-rich elements. We postulated that TTP might regulate interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-18 expression in diabetes. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the levels of TTP are correlated with nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Eighty-seven patients (61.3±9.6 years old) who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 41 age and sex matched healthy control subjects were enrolled. The diabetes patients were classified into those without proteinuria, with microalbuminuria, and with clinical proteinuria groups according to the ratio of urinary excretion of albumin/creatinine (ACR).
Serum and urinary levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were significantly elevated, but those of TTP were significantly decreased in patients with diabetes as compared with control subjects. In addition, serum and urinary levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were significantly higher, but those of TTP were significantly lower in patients with proteinuria than in patients without proteinuria or with microalbuminuria. There was a significant correlation between serum TTP and IL-6/IL-18 (correlation coefficients of -0.572 and -0.685, P < 0.05).
These results show that diabetes with clinical proteinuria is accompanied by decreased urinary and serum level of TTP and increased levels of IL-6 and IL-18. Decreased TTP expression might occur prior to the increase in IL-6 and IL-18, and decrease of TTP might provide an earlier marker for glomerular dysfunction than IL-6 and IL-18.
PMCID: PMC4627660  PMID: 26517838
8.  Two case reports of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas 
Primary adrenal myelolipoma is a rare, non-functioning adrenal benign tumor that is composed of mature adipose tissue and a variable amount of haemopoietic elements. Clinically, it is difficult to get diagnosed with adrenal myelolipoma because the patient usually doesn’t have obvious symptoms and signs in early stage. In the present study, two cases of primary bilateral adrenal myelolipomas are reported. Clinical presentation, imaging diagnostic features, histopathological changes and surgical treatments of the two patients are discussed. Preoperative diagnostic imaging examinations (B-mode ultrasonography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging sans) assisted getting a prediction diagnosis of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas. A two-stage surgery was used to successfully excise bilateral adrenal myelolipomas in the two patients. Conventional open adrenalectomy was applied to remove the adrenal myelolipomas greater than 6 cm, and laparoscopic adrenalectomy was performed to excise the adrenal tumors smaller than 6 cm. Bilateral adrenal myelolipomas of the two patients were finally confirmed by postoperative histopathological examinations. Understanding clinical, imaging diagnostic and histopathological features of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas will facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Surgical removal of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas is safe, curative and beneficial. The two-stage surgery appears to be the best treatment option for the patients with bilateral adrenal myelolipomas because it achieves optimal treatment effectiveness with minimized sequelae.
PMCID: PMC4568537  PMID: 26380835
Bilateral adrenal myelolipomas; Magnetic resonance imaging scan; Imaging diagnosis; B-mode ultrasonography; Computed tomography scan; Two-stage surgery; Histopathological examination
9.  MicroRNA-195 suppresses tumor cell proliferation and metastasis by directly targeting BCOX1 in prostate carcinoma 
Elucidation of the downstream targets regulated by the metastasis-suppressive miRNAs can shed light on the metastatic processes in prostate cancer (PCa). We conducted microarray analyses and found that miR-195 was significantly decreased in metastatic PCa. Low miR-195 expression is an independent prognostic factor for poor biochemical recurrence-free and overall survival. Forced expression of miR-195 in PCa cells drastically inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. BCOX1 is identified as a direct target of miR-195 in PCa, and is found to be drastically increased in metastatic PCa. BCOX1 knockdown phenotypically copies miR-195-induced phenotypes, whereas forced expression of BCOX1 reverses the effects of miR-195. Collectively, this is the first report unveils that loss of miR-195 expression and thus uncontrolled BCOX1 upregulation might drive PCa metastasis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13046-015-0209-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4559360  PMID: 26338045
miRNA; Metastasis; miR-195; Prostate cancer; BCOX1
10.  The Anillin-Related Region of Bud4 Is the Major Functional Determinant for Bud4's Function in Septin Organization during Bud Growth and Axial Bud Site Selection in Budding Yeast 
Eukaryotic Cell  2015;14(3):241-251.
The anillin-related protein Bud4 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for axial bud site selection by linking the axial landmark to the septins, which localize at the mother bud neck. Recent studies indicate that Bud4 plays a role in septin organization during cytokinesis. Here we show that Bud4 is also involved in septin organization during bud growth prior to cytokinesis, as bud4Δ shs1Δ cells displayed an elongated bud morphology and defective septin organization at 18°C. Bud4 overexpression also affected septin organization during bud growth in shs1Δ cells at 30°C. Bud4 was previously thought to associate with the septins via its central region, while the C-terminal anillin-related region was not involved in septin association. Surprisingly, we found that the central region of Bud4 alone targets to the bud neck throughout the cell cycle, unlike full-length Bud4, which localizes to the bud neck only during G2/M phase. We identified the anillin-related region to be a second targeting domain that cooperates with the central region for proper septin association. In addition, the anillin-related region could largely mediate Bud4's function in septin organization during bud growth and bud site selection. We show that this region interacts with the C terminus of Bud3 and the two segments depend on each other for association with the septins. Moreover, like the bud4Δ mutant, the bud3Δ mutant genetically interacts with shs1Δ and cdc12-6 mutants in septin organization, suggesting that Bud4 and Bud3 may cooperate in septin organization during bud growth. These observations provide new insights into the interaction of Bud4 with the septins and Bud3.
PMCID: PMC4346561  PMID: 25576483
11.  Expression profiling of serum microRNA-101 in HBV-associated chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2014;15(9):1248-1255.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of evolutionarily conserved, non-coding small RNAs (18–25 nt) that have emerged as master regulators of several biological processes. Recently, circulating miRNAs have also been reported to be promising biomarkers for various pathological conditions. In the present study, we report the comparative expression profiling of microRNA-101 (miR-101) in serum and tissue samples from chronic hepatitis B (CHB), HBV-associated liver cirrhosis (HBV-LC), and HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) patients and healthy controls. The serum miR-101 levels were found to be significantly downregulated in the HBV-HCC patients compared with the HBV-LC patients (P < 0.001), CHB patients (P < 0.001) and healthy controls but were upregulated in the HBV-LC patients compared with the CHB patients (P < 0.001) and healthy controls (P < 0.001). Consistent with the serum data, the expression of miR-101 was also upregulated and downregulated in the HBV-LC and HBV-HCC tissue samples, respectively. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of serum miR-101 yielded an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.976 with 95.5% sensitivity and 90.2% specificity when differentiating between HBV-HCC and HBV-LC. Our results suggest that the serum miR-101 level can serve as a potential non-invasive biomarker to differentiate HBV-HCC from HBV-LC.
PMCID: PMC4128867  PMID: 24971953
microRNA-101; circulating microRNA; hepatitis B; hepatocellular carcinoma; expression profiling
12.  Effect of Traditional Chinese Exercise on Gait and Balance for Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(8):e0135932.
A systematic review is conducted to determine the effect of traditional Chinese exercise for patients with stroke.
Studies are obtained from PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, EBSCO, Web of Science, and CNKI. Only randomized controlled trials were left to evaluate the effects of traditional Chinese exercise for patients with stroke, and with no limits on study data or language. The primary outcome was the Berg balance score (BBS), Functional walking scale. And a random-effects model was used to calculate the pooled mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
A total of 9 studies on 820 participants conform to the inclusion criteria, whereas eight studies on 704 participants are used as data sources for the meta-analysis, all trials were published between 2004 and 2013. The BBS indicates that the efficacy of traditional Chinese exercise on balance of patients with stroke is better than that of other training or no training in short term [MD (95%CI) = 11.85 [5.41, 18.30], P < 0.00001]. And the short physical performance battery, Functional walking scale, limit of stability were observed significant differences on balance (p<0.05) and gait (p<0.05) between traditional Chinese exercise and other exercises or no exercise. In addition, there is an article showed that some other form (physiotherapy exercises focused on balance) significantly improved balance ability for stroke patients compared to tai chi chuan practice (Berg test = 0.01, Romberg, and standing on one leg).
In our meta analysis, the positive findings of this study suggest traditional Chinese exercise has beneficial effects on the balance ability in short term. However, we drew the conclusion according to the extreme heterogeneity, and evidence of better quality and from a larger sample size is required. Because of the inconsistent outcomes, there are short of enough good evidence for patients with stroke to prove the effects of traditional Chinese exercise on gait.
Systematic Review Registration PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013006474.
PMCID: PMC4546302  PMID: 26291978
13.  Quantitative Analysis of Differential Proteome Expression in Bladder Cancer vs. Normal Bladder Cells Using SILAC Method 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0134727.
The best way to increase patient survival rate is to identify patients who are likely to progress to muscle-invasive or metastatic disease upfront and treat them more aggressively. The human cell lines HCV29 (normal bladder epithelia), KK47 (low grade nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer, NMIBC), and YTS1 (metastatic bladder cancer) have been widely used in studies of molecular mechanisms and cell signaling during bladder cancer (BC) progression. However, little attention has been paid to global quantitative proteome analysis of these three cell lines. We labeled HCV29, KK47, and YTS1 cells by the SILAC method using three stable isotopes each of arginine and lysine. Labeled proteins were analyzed by 2D ultrahigh-resolution liquid chromatography LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Among 3721 unique identified and annotated proteins in KK47 and YTS1 cells, 36 were significantly upregulated and 74 were significantly downregulated with >95% confidence. Differential expression of these proteins was confirmed by western blotting, quantitative RT-PCR, and cell staining with specific antibodies. Gene ontology (GO) term and pathway analysis indicated that the differentially regulated proteins were involved in DNA replication and molecular transport, cell growth and proliferation, cellular movement, immune cell trafficking, and cell death and survival. These proteins and the advanced proteome techniques described here will be useful for further elucidation of molecular mechanisms in BC and other types of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4521931  PMID: 26230496
14.  Cancer diagnosis by nuclear morphometry using spatial information ☆,☆☆ 
Pattern recognition letters  2014;42:115-121.
Methods for extracting quantitative information regarding nuclear morphology from histopathology images have been long used to aid pathologists in determining the degree of differentiation in numerous malignancies. Most methods currently in use, however, employ the naïve Bayes approach to classify a set of nuclear measurements extracted from one patient. Hence, the statistical dependency between the samples (nuclear measurements) is often not directly taken into account. Here we describe a method that makes use of statistical dependency between samples in thyroid tissue to improve patient classification accuracies with respect to standard naïve Bayes approaches. We report results in two sample diagnostic challenges.
PMCID: PMC4043190  PMID: 24910485
Set classification; Naïve Bayes; Majority voting; Thyroid lesion classification; Cancer diagnosis
15.  MicroRNA-218 inhibits melanogenesis by directly suppressing microphthalmia-associated transcription factor expression 
RNA Biology  2014;11(6):732-741.
The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is a pivotal regulator of melanogenic enzymes for melanogenesis, and its expression is modulated by many transcriptional factors at the transcriptional level or post-transcriptional level through microRNAs (miRNAs). Although several miRNAs modulate melanogenic activities, there is no evidence of their direct action on MITF expression. Out of eight miRNAs targeting the 3′-UTR of Mitf predicted by bioinformatic programs, our results show miR-218 to be a novel candidate for direct action on MITF expression. Ectopic miR-218 dramatically reduced MITF expression, suppressed tyrosinase activity, and induced depigmentation in murine immortalized melan-a melanocytes. MiR-218 also suppressed melanogenesis in human pigmented skin organotypic culture (OTC) through the repression of MITF. An inverse correlation between MITF and miR-218 expression was found in human primary skin melanocytes and melanoma cell lines. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism involving miR-218 in the regulation of the MITF pigmentary process and its potential application for skin whitening therapy.
PMCID: PMC4156504  PMID: 24824743
microRNA-218; microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF); melanogenesis; tyrosinase (TYR)
16.  Surgical Versus Non-Surgical Treatment for Vertebral Compression Fracture with Osteopenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0127145.
Surgical and non-surgical interventions are the two categories for treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). However, there is clinical uncertainty over optimal management. This study aimed to examine the safety and effectiveness of surgical management for treatment of VCFs with osteopenia compared with non-surgical treatment.
We conducted a systematic search through electronic databases from inception to June 2014, with no limits on study data or language. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating surgical versus non-surgical interventions for treatment of patients with VCFs due to osteopenia were considered. Primary outcomes were pain and adverse effects. A random-effects model was used to calculate the pooled mean difference (MD) or risk ratios with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Sixteen reports (11 studies) met the inclusion criteria, and provided data for the meta-analysis with a total of 1,401 participants. Compared with conservative treatment, surgical treatment was more effective in reducing pain (short-term: MD -2.05, 95% CI -3.55 to -0.56, P=0.007; mid-term: MD -1.70, 95% CI -2.78 to -0.62, P=0.002; long-term: MD -1.24, 95% CI -2.20 to -0.29, P=0.01) and disability on the Roland–Morris Disability score (short-term: MD -4.97, 95% CI -8.71 to -1.23, P=0.009), as well as improving quality of life on the Short-Form 36 Physical Component Summary score (short-term: MD 5.53, 95% CI 1.45 to 9.61, P=0.008) and the Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis score (short-term: MD -5.01, 95% CI -8.11 to -1.91, P=0.002). Indirect comparisons between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty found no evidence that the treatment effect differed across the two interventions for any outcomes assessed. Compared with the sham procedure, surgical treatment showed no evidence of improvement in pain relief and physical function. Based on these two comparisons, no significant difference between groups was noted in the pooled results for adverse events.
Compared to conservative treatment, surgical treatment was more effective in decreasing pain in the short,mid and long terms. However, no significant mid- and long-term differences in physical function and quality of life was observed. Little good evidence is available for surgical treatment compared with that for sham procedure. PV and BK are currently used to treat VCFs with osteopenia, with little difference in treatment effects. Evidence of better quality and from a larger sample size is required before a recommendation can be made.
Systematic Review Registration PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013005142.
PMCID: PMC4447413  PMID: 26020950
17.  Qing-Yi decoction in participants with severe acute pancreatitis: a randomized controlled trial 
Chinese Medicine  2015;10:11.
Qing-Yi Decoction (QYD) has been used for severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) patients in China for many years. There were two kinds of QYD: Num 1. QYD (QYD1) which is used in the acute response stage of SAP and Num 2. QYD (QYD2) which is used in the second stage of SAP. This study aims to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of QYD in participants with SAP.
In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants aged 18–70 years within the first 7 days after acute onset of typical abdominal pain (the definition of SAP was according to the 2007 Guidelines for Management of Severe Acute Pancreatitis in China) were selected. The disease severity was determined by the Ranson, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II, and Balthazar CT scores. The test group received Western medicine and Chinese medicine (Num.1 QYD and Num.2 QYD), while the control group received Western medicine and placebo. The primary end-points were length of hospital stay, total hospitalization expenses, operation rate, and mortality. The secondary end-points were organ complications (i.e., heart failure, respiratory failure, acute renal failure, and hepatic failure), duration of paralytic ileus, infection, intensive care unit stay, and respirator use.
From March 2008 to July 2010, a total of 300 participants with severe acute pancreatitis were assessed for eligibility in West China Hospital, and 100 were eligible for randomized allocation. Eighty-five participants (46 in the test group; 39 in the control group) were included in the statistical analyses. The two groups were similar in their baseline clinical characteristics (age, sex, and etiology) and disease severity. After the interventions, there were no differences between the two groups for length of hospital stay (P = 0.323), total hospitalization expenses (P = 0.252), operation rate (P = 0.231), mortality (P = 0.462), organ complications (P > 0.05), intensive care unit stay (P = 0.209), and respirator use (P > 0.05). However, the duration [median (interquartile range)] of paralytic ileus, i.e., 4 (2–6) days vs. 6 (4–8) days (P = 0.014) and rate of infection, i.e., (13.0 % vs. 35.9 %) (P = 0.013) differed significantly.
QYD could restore gastrointestinal motility to normal and reduce the infection rates in the SAP patients who completed a full course of QYD treatment according to per protocol analysis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13020-015-0039-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4449590  PMID: 26029248
18.  Multifocal osteoarticular tuberculosis of the extremities in an immunocompetent young man without pulmonary disease: A case report 
Osteoarticular tuberculosis (TB), an uncommon form of extrapulmonary TB, is a universal mimicker and thus represents a potential differential diagnosis of any osteolytic lesion. The present study describes a case of multifocal osteoarticular TB in an immunocompetent young man who presented with swelling and extremity pain. The patient underwent plain radiography, bone scan and magnetic resonance imaging. A diagnosis was ultimately made based on the pathology results from his second left toe. The patient responded well to anti-TB medication. The radiological findings of multifocal osteoarticular TB are described in this report. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of multifocal osteoarticular TB symmetrically affecting all the extremities.
PMCID: PMC4473504  PMID: 26136977
tuberculosis; osteoarticular; diagnosis; magnetic resonance imaging; bone scan
19.  Developmental Regulation and Induction of Cytochrome P450 2W1, an Enzyme Expressed in Colon Tumors 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122820.
Cytochrome P450 2W1 (CYP2W1) is expressed predominantly in colorectal and also in hepatic tumors, whereas the levels are insignificant in the corresponding normal human adult tissues. CYP2W1 has been proposed as an attractive target for colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy by exploiting its ability to activate duocarmycin prodrugs to cytotoxic metabolites. However, its endogenous function, regulation and developmental pattern of expression remain unexplored. Here we report the CYP2W1 developmental expression in the murine and human gastrointestinal tissues. The gene expression in the colon and small intestine commence at early stages of embryonic life and is completely silenced shortly after the birth. Immunohistochemical analysis of human fetal colon revealed that CYP2W1 expression is restricted to the crypt cells. The silencing of CYP2W1 after birth correlates with the increased methylation of CpG-rich regions in both murine and human CYP2W1 genes. Analysis of CYP2W1 expression in the colon adenocarcinoma cell line HCC2998 revealed that the gene expression can be induced by e.g. the antitumor agent imatinib, linoleic acid and its derivatives. The imatinib mediated induction of CYP2W1 suggests an adjuvant therapy to treatment with duocarmycins that thus would involve induction of tumor CYP2W1 levels followed by the CYP2W1 activated duocarmycin prodrugs. Taken together these data strongly support further exploration of CYP2W1 as a specific drug target in CRC.
PMCID: PMC4386763  PMID: 25844926
20.  Chemokine Receptor CCR5 Antagonist Maraviroc: Medicinal Chemistry and Clinical Applications 
Current topics in medicinal chemistry  2014;14(13):1504-1514.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immumodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), one of the worst global pandemic. The virus infects human CD4 T cells and macrophages, and causes CD4 depletion. HIV enters target cells through the binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein to CD4 and the chemokine coreceptor, CXCR4 or CCR5. In particular, the CCR5-utilizing viruses predominate in the blood during the disease course. CCR5 is expressed on the surface of various immune cells including macrophages, monocytes, microglia, dendric cells, and active memory CD4 T cells. In the human population, the CCR5 genomic mutation, CCR5Δ32, is associated with relative resistance to HIV. These findings paved the way for the discovery and development of CCR5 inhibitors to block HIV transmission and replication. Maraviroc, discovered as a CCR5 antagonist, is the only CCR5 inhibitor that has been approved by both US FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for treating HIV/AIDS patients. In this review, we summarize the medicinal chemistry and clinical studies of Maraviroc.
PMCID: PMC4380148  PMID: 25159165
Antiretroviral therapy; Clinical study; HIV-1; HIV-2; Medicinal chemistry; Microbicide; SAR
21.  Design and prediction of new anticoagulants as a selective Factor IXa inhibitor via three-dimensional quantitative structure-property relationships of amidinobenzothiophene derivatives 
Factor IXa (FIXa), a blood coagulation factor, is specifically inhibited at the initiation stage of the coagulation cascade, promising an excellent approach for developing selective and safe anticoagulants. Eighty-four amidinobenzothiophene antithrombotic derivatives targeting FIXa were selected to establish three-dimensional quantitative structure–activity relationship (3D-QSAR) and three-dimensional quantitative structure–selectivity relationship (3D-QSSR) models using comparative molecular field analysis and comparative similarity indices analysis methods. Internal and external cross-validation techniques were investigated as well as region focusing and bootstrapping. The satisfactory q2 values of 0.753 and 0.770, and r2 values of 0.940 and 0.965 for 3D-QSAR and 3D-QSSR, respectively, indicated that the models are available to predict both the inhibitory activity and selectivity on FIXa against Factor Xa, the activated status of Factor X. This work revealed that the steric, hydrophobic, and H-bond factors should appropriately be taken into account in future rational design, especially the modifications at the 2′-position of the benzene and the 6-position of the benzothiophene in the R group, providing helpful clues to design more active and selective FIXa inhibitors for the treatment of thrombosis. On the basis of the three-dimensional quantitative structure–property relationships, 16 new potent molecules have been designed and are predicted to be more active and selective than Compound 33, which has the best activity as reported in the literature.
PMCID: PMC4376188  PMID: 25848211
CoMFA; CoMSIA; 3D-QSAR; 3D-QSSR; benzothiophene antithrombosis
22.  miR-188-5p inhibits tumour growth and metastasis in prostate cancer by repressing LAPTM4B expression 
Oncotarget  2015;6(8):6092-6104.
Elucidation of the molecular targets and pathways regulated by the tumour-suppressive miRNAs can shed light on the oncogenic and metastatic processes in prostate cancer (PCa). Using miRNA profiling analysis, we find that miR-188-5p was significantly down-regulated in metastatic PCa. Down-regulation of miR-188-5p is an independent prognostic factor for poor overall and biochemical recurrence-free survival. Restoration of miR-188-5p in PCa cells (PC-3 and LNCaP) significantly suppresses proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and inhibits tumour growth and metastasis in vivo. We also find overexpression of miR-188-5p in PC-3 cells can significantly enhance the cells' chemosensitivity to adriamycin. LAPTM4B is subsequently identified as a direct target of miR-188-5p in PCa, and is found to be significantly over-expressed in PCa. Knockdown of LAPTM4B phenotypically copies miR-188-5p-induced phenotypes, whereas ectopic expression of LAPTM4B reverses the effects of miR-188-5p. We also find that restoration of miR-188-5p can inhibit the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway via the suppression of LAPTM4B. Taken together, this is the first report unveils that miR-188-5p acts as a tumour suppressor in PCa and may therefore serve as a useful therapeutic target for the development of new anticancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4467424  PMID: 25714029
miRNA; metastasis; miR-188-5p; prostate cancer; LAPTM4B
23.  IL-13 Induces YY1 through the AKT Pathway in Lung Fibroblasts 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0119039.
A key feature of lung fibrosis is the accumulation of myofibroblasts. Interleukin 13 (IL-13) is a pro-fibrotic mediator that directly and indirectly influences the activation of myofibroblasts. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) promotes the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, and can be regulated by IL-13. However, IL-13’s downstream signaling pathways are not completely understood. We previously reported that the transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is upregulated in fibroblasts treated with TGF-β and in the lungs of mice and patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Moreover, YY1 directly regulates collagen and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression in fibroblasts. However, it is not known if IL-13 regulates fibroblast activation through YY1 expression. We hypothesize that IL-13 up-regulates YY1 expression through regulation of AKT activation, leading to fibroblast activation. In this study we found that YY1 was upregulated by IL-13 in lung fibroblasts in a dose- and time-dependent manner, resulting in increased α-SMA. Conversely, knockdown of YY1 blocked IL-13-induced α-SMA expression in fibroblasts. Furthermore, AKT phosphorylation was increased in fibroblasts treated with IL-13, and AKT overexpression upregulated YY1, whereas blockade of AKT phosphorylation suppressed the induction of YY1 by IL-13 in vitro. In vivo YY1 was upregulated in fibrotic lungs from CC10-IL-13 transgenic mice compared to that from wild-type littermates, which was associated with increased AKT phosphorylation. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that IL-13 is a potent stimulator and activator of fibroblasts, at least in part, through AKT-mediated YY1 activation.
PMCID: PMC4361578  PMID: 25775215
24.  BRCA1 functions as a novel transcriptional cofactor in HIV-1 infection 
Virology Journal  2015;12:40.
Viruses have naturally evolved elegant strategies to manipulate the host’s cellular machinery, including ways to hijack cellular DNA repair proteins to aid in their own replication. Retroviruses induce DNA damage through integration of their genome into host DNA. DNA damage signaling proteins including ATR, ATM and BRCA1 contribute to multiple steps in the HIV-1 life cycle, including integration and Vpr-induced G2/M arrest. However, there have been no studies to date regarding the role of BRCA1 in HIV-1 transcription.
Here we performed various transcriptional analyses to assess the role of BRCA1 in HIV-1 transcription by overexpression, selective depletion, and treatment with small molecule inhibitors. We examined association of Tat and BRCA1 through in vitro binding assays, as well as BRCA1-LTR association by chromatin immunoprecipitation.
BRCA1 was found to be important for viral transcription as cells that lack BRCA1 displayed severely reduced HIV-1 Tat-dependent transcription, and gain or loss-of-function studies resulted in enhanced or decreased transcription. Moreover, Tat was detected in complex with BRCA1 aa504-802. Small molecule inhibition of BRCA1 phosphorylation effector kinases, ATR and ATM, decreased Tat-dependent transcription, whereas a Chk2 inhibitor showed no effect. Furthermore, BRCA1 was found at the viral promoter and treatment with curcumin and ATM inhibitors decreased BRCA1 LTR occupancy. Importantly, these findings were validated in a highly relevant model of HIV infection and are indicative of BRCA1 phosphorylation affecting Tat-dependent transcription.
BRCA1 presence at the HIV-1 promoter highlights a novel function of the multifaceted protein in HIV-1 infection. The BRCA1 pathway or enzymes that phosphorylate BRCA1 could potentially be used as complementary host-based treatment for combined antiretroviral therapy, as there are multiple potent ATM inhibitors in development as chemotherapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4359766  PMID: 25879655
Antiviral; Small molecule inhibitor; Viral transcription; BRCA1; HIV-1; ATM; Phosphorylation; Post-translational modification
25.  Human papillomavirus 16 infection predicts poor outcome in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:573-581.
Previous studies indicate that human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) infection plays a pivotal role in the etiology of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We aim to detect the influence of HPV16 infection on ESCC patient prognosis.
Patients and methods
Immunohistochemical staining for HPV16 E6 oncoprotein, the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) was performed on 103 archived surgical specimens from patients with ESCC and 54 control samples from patients with benign esophageal tumor or inflammatory lesions. All patients were from the Shaan Xi Province, People’s Republic of China.
HPV16 E6 expression was significantly higher in the ESCC group (P<0.05). HPV16 E6 expression was significantly higher in men than in women (P<0.05). p75NTR expression was higher in those aged >56 years (P<0.05). PI3K expression was higher in those with a more advanced histopathological grade (P<0.05). There was a positive correlation between HPV16 E6 and p75NTR expression (r=0.547, P<0.001) and between p75NTR and PI3K expression (r=0.364, P<0.001). In 100 evaluable patients, the 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 11%. In patients with ESCC, HPV16 E6 and PI3K expression were negatively correlated with the 3-year OS (P<0.05), 5-year OS (P<0.05), and progression-free survival (P<0.05).
HPV16 infection likely contributes to the etiology of ESCC patients in Shaan Xi, People’s Republic of China. HPV16 infection status and PI3K expression levels could be useful for predicting prognosis in patients with ESCC.
PMCID: PMC4356693  PMID: 25784817
low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; prognosis

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